Posts Tagged ‘Riverwalk’

Hidden superpowers.

May 1, 2017

When I decided to steal my girlies for a roadtrip, part of me wondered how much of a good idea it would be. Granted, Gracie decided to stay home instead of going with, but even with just half of my dynamic duo, was a five-hour road trip so soon after their trip to Houston (and Galveston) really a smart idea? Could they handle another mega-car ride so soon after the first?

Turns out, my Bee-girl has a hidden superpower or two that she didn’t tell me about. And turnpikin’ is one of ’em.

SATe

After a tasty, tasty pancake-and-egg breakfast, the three of us girls hit the road, armed with mix CDs, fully charged phones, half-baked directions, and all manner of stories we needed to catch up on. And even though we ran into a minor delay at a PlaceThatShallNotBeDiscussed because of a CrisisThatShallNotBeHintedAt, we still made incredibly good time, racing into the city well before rush hour.

And that was including the 30-minute lunch break we took to introduce Auntie Kim to Buc-ee’s, the world’s largest rest stops. I really wish I had’ve had my camera ready for that, you guys. Her. face. Priceless! I understand; we have gas stations smaller than the restrooms alone. The place is just massive. But so clean and rather addictive, and conveniently halfway between our house and the party hotel. Even with our pit stop, we still rolled into San Antonio early enough for dinner and some shenanigans…

Mostly we walked along the Riverwalk, scoping out places to eat and get an early cocktail. We checked out some local curiosities and stopped in a gift shop or two to peruse. We may have found Auntie Rhi (avert your eyes!) a Sully puppet, but couldn’t find a matching Dr. Quinn. Alas…

I love seeing all of the hidey-holes and different shops and museums around the Riverwalk. Some people might find it kitschy, but I love never knowing exactly what you’ll find around the next corner. Because it was Fiesta, for us it mean there was usually a parade around every corner, several times a day, complicating even matters as mundane as crossing the street. Didn’t get to Bee-girl at all, though – nothing got to her! Except maybe when we told her to go pretend to kiss the bull that just happened to be standing at the side of the road…

We finally had to show her how!

Not a bad first evening, even though we called it an early night. Kim had meetings to prepare for, and Bee and I had been go-go-going all week getting ready. A slam! game of War and half of Bee’s Easter candy while we watched mindless TV was the perfect end to what should have been a draining first day – and was, unless you were a certain 10-year-old with superpowers to brush off even the most grueling of five-hour treks across state!

 

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Boat tours and remembering the Alamo.

April 13, 2016

We squeezed sooo much fun into Saturday. We ate and ate and ate – but I think that’s a different post entirely! We also jumped on a riverboat tour early Saturday morning (before it got crazy crowded) and enjoyed the  perfect weather as we cruised along. I wish I had taken more pictures, but some – like all of the gorgeous bridges – were hard to get into the shot. Some – like the beautiful cathedrals – were hidden behind buildings at street level. And other points of interest were obscured behind all of the lush greenery.

Riverwalk3I think that was my favorite part about the Riverwalk – how green and lush and flowery everything was! It was gorgeous!

Like, look at this stairwell. A lot of the curved stairwells leading up to restaurants or shops were decorated like this. Some of the bridge stairs were boring and barren, but most were covered with more green. Spring is definitely a good time to visit!

Even street level was covered with gardens! You had to squeeze between the planters and the river – which made me very nervous! Gracie would not be allowed to walk on the river-side if she were with us! (Although the water is “only” four feet deep.)

There was a little open air amphitheater just a few buildings down from us, right on the riverwalk. I remember how close it was because it gated off our side of the path, with a sign reading “Bands only”, which meant we had to cross over the ancient stone bridge every time we wanted to walk in that direction. I have never more wanted to be in a band.

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The theater is part of La Villita, which has shops and restaurants. It used to be one of the five missions of San Antonio, and uses some of the old buildings. The five bells above the stage represent the five missions (god, it sounds like the Five Families, doesn’t it?), the middle bell representing the biggest mission, the Alamo.

Riverwalk2There were a lot of brick buildings around. Some were old warehouses, some were administrative buildings. Many were old, very old, but some were “newer”. It made me think of Boston, the way a lot of the buildings were cramped in on each other, and allowed to age. And all the mixed zoning, too. So of course I took a picture, because homesick.

 

Riverwalk4There were all these oddities along the way – heads would appear carved into stone, gargoyles on buildings, old wooden doors would appear in buildings. I loved seeing some of the hidden items – and some oddities put there on purpose. I like the way those guys think!

 

 

 

 

 

Like this next one – doesn’t this wall seem to stand up on its own? That’s because it’s built like a triangle, with tight, sharp corners, causing the illusion. It’s also actually a hospital. At this point of the tour, Jeff turned to me and said, oh! good to know there’s one so close, sweetie! And then I smacked him, because he thinks I’m rather…shall we say “medically needy”?  The hospital (whose name I’ve forgotten) was also the place where Carol Burnett was born. <Insert ear tug here, just because>

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There were also a large number of mosaics throughout the riverwalk area, and really, throughout most of San Antonio. This one, on the face of the Lila Cockrell Theater and Performing Arts Museum, was created by renowned Mexican artist Juan O’Gorman. The piece is called the Confluence of the Americas. Adam and Eve are pictured in the middle. European civilization is pictured to the right, Mexican and American civilization to the left, and the child in the middle depicts our melding future. Another bit I love about the building is that it’s named after San Antonio’s first female mayor. That rocks, does it not?

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After the riverboat tour, Jeff and I popped up to street level and wondered why there was a particularly dense sea of tourists. When they parted for a moment, we saw why: The Alamo.

Alamo4I guess I expected it to be…not bigger. Everyone says how small it looks compared to everything around it. Maybe I heard that one too many times and expected this teeny tiny thing. Because I didn’t find it cramped by buildings and I didn’t think it was weird that a mall was nearby or that business buildings were to the left and right of the grounds. (NOT right up on the building like I had been led to believe.) People who think this is weird need to grow up in Boston, where we’ve built around history, because everything is history! It would have been great to get a picture without everyone creeping about, too, but you get what you get. See all of my newest friends!

 

So we walked about for a bit and read all of the plaques and enjoyed the museum. I loved that they included many inscriptions about the women of the fort, the ones who helped the mission at the time, and the ones (particularly widows and family members) who helped tend the grounds of the museum afterwards, making sure their memories weren’t forgotten.

It was a good morning and a wonderful way to start our San Antonio trip. Not to mention an excellent way to work up our appetite so we could go enjoy all of the restaurants on the way back through the Riverwalk!